John Mellencamp has had a relatively quiet 2013, but a new interview with Rolling Stone magazine suggests that he’s got big (very big, ‘humongous’, you might say) plans for 2014 with 85 (no, really) new songs and plans for a massive tour.
“I just signed with Universal,” he tells Rolling Stone. “So I’m back on a major label. I’ve got a notebook with 85 new songs that I’ve written for my next record. T Bone Burnett is going to come out to Indiana sometime in early January and we’re gonna go into the studio for however long it takes to make a new album. I haven’t done one in five years.”
And, in spite of, apparently, having enough songs for seven new albums, Mellencamp says he keeps finding himself writing more, as though he’s possessed by some kind of benevolent musical demon.
“Sometimes it surprises me,” he says. “The other night I woke at 4:30 AM and I had to get out of bed to write this song. I didn’t wanna do it. I was like, ‘No! Not fucking’ now! I wanna sleep!’ But I had to get up and write this song. It came out all at once. There wasn’t any head-scratching involved. It was just there, totally complete.”
Once the next album is done, Mellencamp says he wants to follow it up with a mega world tour. (Then again, ask yourself: is there any other kind of world tour?)
“I want to do one hundred shows in the United States and Canada,” he says. “Then I’ll deal with the rest of the world later. I want to play places I haven’t played since the 1980s. I want to go to Hays, Kansas and Youngstown, Ohio. In the 1990s I kept playing these same fuckin’ sheds and arenas. It was a drag. I’d walk in and realize I’d been in the dressing room fifty times before.”
In the meantime, Mellencamp is gearing up for the release of John Mellencamp 1978 – 2012, which comes out, literally, tomorrow and contains his nineteen studio albums from that time period with bonus tracks and remastered sound.
John Mellencamp has announced that he will bring his “No Better Than This” tour to Canada over the summer. Additionally, he will bring Canadian band Cowboy Junkies along for the ride.
The 16-date tour will move from west to east across Canada, beginning in Penticton, BC on June 14 and winding up in Oshawa, ON about a month later on July 15. In between, the tour will stop in Dawson Creek, BC; Calgary, AB; Thunder Bay, ON; St. John’s, NL and Dartmouth, NS, among others.
The tour will continue to support Mellencamp’s most recent studio album, No Better Than This, which was released in the summer of 2010. That album found the singer-songwriter attempting to capture his folk roots. Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album was recorded with one microphone on a 55 year old tape recorder at a variety of historic venues. These sites include the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis and Room 414 of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, which is where blues great Robert Johnson recorded in 1936.
Similar to this style of recording, the Cowboy Junkies recorded their debut album using a single microphone in a Toronto Church. That church was the Church of the Holy Trinity, and the resulting album, appropriately named The Trinity Session, was released in 1988. It has become the most acclaimed of the band’s work to date, and was named as the 42nd best album of the 1980s by Pitchfork Media.
John Mellencamp released his first album, Chestnut Street Incident, under the name Johnny Cougar in 1976. He achieved his first major mainstream success with the 1982 album American Fool, which contained the hits “Hurts So Good” and “Jack & Diane.”
No Better Than This received widespread acclaim upon release, and was named by Rolling Stone as the 12th best album of 2010.
John Mellencamp’s tour “No Better Than This” has been extended. An extra 17 shows have been added across the U.S. and Canada.
An announcement on the veteran rocker’s official website stated that he will be launching a new series of October dates that will kick off at Citi Performing Arts Center at Wang Theatre on October 25, with the trek wrapping up on November 19 at the Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis IN, Mellencamp’s home state.
Canadian stops on the tour so far include: October 27 at Place des Arts in Montreal; October 28 at Centennial Hall in London, ON and October 29 at Hamilton Place Theatre in Hamilton, ON.
Other stops scheduled for the U.S. include November 4 at Sovereign Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA; November 11 at Johnny Mercer Theatre in Savannah, GA; November 16 at Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee, WI; and November 18 at Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford, IL.
Last October the current tour for the hit maker of “Hurt So Good” launched to support “No Better Than This,” his critically acclaimed album from 2010.
The night is broken into three sections: Mellencamp performs acoustically, is backed by a full rock band, and a small combo accompanying him.
The shows all open with a “It’s About You” screening, a documentary covering the 2009 tour Mellencamp did with Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan.
Ticket sales will start on August 5, with various premiere packing and pre-sales available for selective shows.
With a new top 10 album under his belt, folk country icon John Mellencamp has just laid out a new batch of tour dates that will have him rally through the east coast with select stops in the south from February to March 2011. These dates are the latest additions to the heartland rocker’s first slew of tour dates this fall.
The winter-spring leg of Mellencamp’s “No Better than This” tour will kick off in Lowell, MA on February 3 followed by a string of stops in Canada, NYC’s Radio City Music Hall and intimate gigs in Philadelphia, Richmond and Durham before finally heading off to the south with shows in Columbia, SC, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Clearwater, FL and finally in Jacksonville on March 5 to wrap things up.
Tickets for the 2011 tour will be available starting on October 15 except for tickets for the NYC show, which will be available on the 16th instead. Ticket prices are expected to go from $40 to $50 as posted on Ticketmaster.com.
Fans of the 59-year old folk-rock singer should expect a third batch of dates following the above mentioned leg to be rolled out by spring next year.
Meanwhile, it’s all systems go for Mellencamp’s fall trek beginning with a two-nighter in Bloomington, IN on October 29 and 30, after which the singer will cruise through 20 other cities till he stops by Chicago for a two-nighter tour finale on November 26 and 27.
Released last summer, “No Better than This” marks Mellencamp’s tenth set to make it to Billboard’s top 10 of the hottest 200 albums. The new studio set is produced by T Bone Burnett who in turn, will feature Mellencamp in his forthcoming “Speaking Clock Revue” shows in Boston and New York on October 16 and 20, respectively.
2011 John Mellencamp Concert Tour
29-30 – Bloomington, IN – Indiana University Auditorium
1 – Cincinnati, OH – Music Hall
3 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
5 – Kansas City, MO – The Midland by AMC
6 – St. Louis, MO – Fabulous Fox Theatre
8 – Indianapolis, IN – Clowes Memorial Hall
11 – Indianapolis, IN – Hinkle Fieldhouse
13 – South Bend, IN – Morris Performing Arts Center
16 – Fort Wayne, IN – Embassy Theatre
17 – Cleveland, OH – Palace Theatre
19 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre
20 – Pittsburgh, PA – Heinz Hall
22-23 – Minneapolis, MN – Orpheum Theatre
26-27 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
3 – Lowell, MA – Lowell Memorial Auditorium
4 – Waterbury, CT – Palace Theatre
6 – Ottawa, ON – National Arts Centre (Southam Hall)
9 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
15 – Washington, DC – DAR Constitution Hall
18 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
21 – Philadelphia, PA – Academy Of Music
24 – Richmond, VA – Landmark Theater
26 – Columbia, SC – Township Auditorium
27 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theatre
10 – Toronto, Ontario – Massey Hall
19 – New York City, NY – Radio City Music Hall
1 – Durham, NC – Durham Performing Arts Center
3 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Broward Center (Au-Rene Theater)
4 – Clearwater, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
5 – Jacksonville, FL – Times Union Center (Moran Theatre)
1 – Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theatre
2 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theatre
3 – Houston, TX – Jones Hall for the Performing Arts
6 – Denver, CO – Temple Buell Theatre
8 – Los Angeles, CA – Nokia Theatre
9 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
12 – Seattle, WA – McCaw Hall at Seattle Center
13 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Orpheum Theatre
15 – Edmonton, Alberta – Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
19 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – TCU Place
22 – Regina, Saskatchewan – Conexus Arts Centre
27 – Omaha, NE – Omaha Civic Music Hall
28 – Ames, IA – Stephens Auditorium